Little Island acquires retelling of The Táin by Alan Titley—a chaotic, anarchic story of heroism, love, loyalty and more
Little Island Books has acquired The Táin: Ireland’s Battle Epic, by Alan Titley, the first chapter-book edition of Ireland’s greatest legend for more than 30 years.
Publisher Matthew Parkinson-Bennett acquired world rights directly from the author.
Titley goes back to the source material for this new edition, and his translation sparkles with the wit and humour—as well as the thrill and battle—of the ancient tale. Illustrations by artist Eoin Coveney lend a fresh and modern feel. This is Celtic myth as you haven’t read it before.
The Táin publishes on the 17th of March 2023 (St. Patrick’s Day) in paperback.
Queen Maeve’s army is marching north to steal the great brown bull, the pride of Ulster. But one man stands in their way. Cú Chulainn, the Hound of Ulster, vowed in boyhood to protect his homeland – even if it means taking on an invading army himself.
One by one Maeve’s warriors challenge the hero, and one by one they fall. Can Cú Chulainn hold out until reinforcements arrive – and how will he fare against the one man in Ireland he doesn’t want to fight?
Cover design: Niall McCormack.
Little Island’s Parkinson-Bennett says that as a child he loved the story of The Táin, and he’s happy to be bringing a fresh version of the story to today’s children.
“Alan’s sparkling adaptation is full of wit and wordplay, features of the medieval world which sometimes get lost in translation, and together with Eoin’s brilliant comic-book-style illustrations it will be very attractive to young readers.”
Alan Titley’s The Dirty Dust, his translation of Cré na Cille by Máirtín Ó Cadhain, was published by Yale University Press to international acclaim in 2015. He is the Emeritus Professor of Modern Irish, University College Cork and a member of the Royal Irish Academy.
Titley said that The Táin is a mad, chaotic and anarchic story.
“It’s about heroism, love, jealousy, war, magic, other worlds, pre-history, friendship, loyalty and two bulls. What else would you want in a story?”